How to Maximize Spending Your Gift Cards

Buy More & Spend Less with These 6 Tips!

How to Maximize Spending Your Gift Cards


With the holidays right around the corner, we all know that we’ll be giving or receiving gift cards this winter.


It’s one of my go-to gifts for casual friends or relatives who might be difficult to shop for.


It also happens to be the #1 most popular gift given and received during the holidays.


I’m always excited when I get a gift card myself because that means I get to stretch every dollar and find ways to enhance my savings.


Here are my top 6 tips on maximizing your gift card spending!


1.) Save them up! You never know when a gift card can be your saving grace in a tight spot.

The money you don’t spend out of pocket goes back to bills and other important expenses and we don’t always have a lot of extra cash lying around to begin with.

Save the gift cards (like Visa or Amazon gift cards) that could help you replace something important later down the line when you really need it, but don’t wanna burn a hole through your wallet!


2.) Look for deals on the items you are looking to get with your gift card.

Make sure you take the time to look through weekly ads and seasonal deals in order to get the most bang for your buck.

For instance, this week in the Target ad, you can save up to 50% off on kids' toys and books.

Have a Target gift card you’ve had for a while? Save on holiday gifts for the kids by shopping now, or even on Black Friday, to get those toys for a fraction of the normal cost.

Want to use your gift card to shop online? Use websites like Groupon or Honey to search for coupons and promotions to get the hottest deals on your favorite items. 


3.) Look for promotions that give you gift cards.

Some stores (like Target) will give you 5, 10, or even 15 dollar gift cards if you spend a certain amount of cash on certain items.

For instance, the current Target gift card promotion offers a 15 dollar gift card if you spend 75 dollars or more on diapers using same-day order services.

This is a great way for parents to get money back for what they already spend, and it’s 15 dollars you don’t have to spend on your next shopping trip!


4.) Make sure you understand the terms and conditions!

Always read the fine print and figure out if your card needs to be activated before use, if there are any limitations, or if there is an expiration date.

These are important things to know so you remember how and when you can spend your gift cards. 


5.) Keep your unused cards somewhere safe.

There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect time to use a gift card and then realizing you haven’t seen it since you got it last holiday season. 

Make a dedicated envelope or folder for all of your unused gift cards so you always know where they are. 


6.) Keep track of your card balances!

You’re not always going to use your whole gift card during one shopping trip!

Take a moment after each transaction to write down the remaining balance on the back of your card.

Forgot the balance on your card? No worries! Most cards have a phone number on the back that you can call if you ever need to inquire about the card’s balance.